[License-review] Evolving the License Review process for OSI

Simon Phipps webmink at opensource.org
Sat Jun 1 15:46:20 UTC 2019

On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 4:26 PM Luis Villa <luis at lu.is> wrote:

> With this change, OSI has swung _radically_

That's pure speculation, Luis - no "swing" has in fact occurred.

> towards absolute discretion with no reasoning, explanation, or
> justification.

Every decision OSI has ever made about approving a license has been
accompanied by a summary of the discussion and a recommendation from the
Director responsible. That has not changed and will not change (in fact I
think recommendations are about to get more detailed rather than less).

> It's a get-out-of-jail-free card for having to explain anything.

Like the DFSG from which it forked, the OSD is a tool for determining
whether the permissions ("freedoms") users and developers depend upon as
the basis for open source free software are delivered by a given license.
We added the statement you so vigorously oppose when it became apparent
that there were submitters who wanted to game the OSD on the basis that OSI
had made no rule that permitted the exercise of discretion in this pursuit.

It's possible it needs better phrasing and the new license commiteee would
welcome suggested improvements, but that's why the statement is there - to
explain the discretion OSI always has, and always will, choose to exercise
when novel devices are unveiled. There's been no swing, just a
clarification in response to list members.

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